Welcome to the purely literary/typographical side of my website! Here you'll find all the text-related things: stuff I've written, books I've read, interesting quotes and excerpts, etc.
I originally hit upon the idea of making this site in late 2020, partly as a place to upload photos and partly as a way of re-learning HTML and CSS. Starting a blog was never part of the plan, but in the spirit of multimedia I've decided to include this text-based section as a way of balancing things out. I enjoy reading and writing, and hopefully this section will eventually fill up with more content, but for now it's mostly a placeholder.
Things I have written. I'm not entirely sure what will appear in this section right now, but you can assume it will get some attention sooner or later. Just don't hold your breath.
- 2021/01/11 — About Me
Books Recieved: 2020
A list of more or less everything I read this past year, as well as my personal recommendation and some comments. I tend to rate books based on my gut reaction rather than any kind of logical system. I'm also a pretty slow reader. Books appear in this table in the order in which I read them, although I'll try to put audiobooks and the like near the end. I like audiobooks a lot, and in some cases a good narrator can really improve the quality of a story, but they don't engage your brain the way a good printed book does and because of that I tend to categorize them differently. Also, it's worth repeating that these recommendations are just my personal opinion. Your mileage may vary!
|The Force of Destiny||Christopher Duggan||Wouldn't recommend, too unfocused.|
|The Golden Age||John C. Wright||Wouldn't recommend, just didn't like it.|
|The Phoenix Exultant||John C. Wright||Wouldn't recommend, see above.|
|Collected Fictions||Jorge Luis Borges||Highly recommended, personal favorite.|
|The Death of Woman Wang||Jonathan Spence||Wouldn't recommend, copies too much from Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio.|
|One Hundred Years of Solitude||Gabriel Garcia Marquez||Highly recommended, absolutely lives up to the hype.|
|From Dawn to Decadence||Jacques Barzun||Depends, lots of great book recs inside but suffers from
grumpy old man syndrome.
|Beasts, Men and Gods||Ferdinand Ossendowski||Would recommend, fascinating (mostly) true story.|
|The Life of the Bee||Maurice Maeterlinck||Depends, rambling but interesting prose style you don't normally seen in nonfiction.|
|The Waning of the Middle Ages||Johan Huizinga||Highly recommended, personal favorite.|
|Gargantua and Pantagruel||Francois Rabelais||Would recommend, the Urquhart translation can be tough.|
|Laurus||Eugene Vodolazkin||Depends, probably loses something in translation.|
|Flatland||Edwin Abbott||Would recommend, not as mathematical as you might think.|
|In Search of Adam||Herbert Wendt||Wouldn't recommend, unfocused and outdated.|
|Vineland||Thomas Pynchon||Depends, not Pynchon's best but still a fun read.|
|Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?||Phillip K. Dick||Would recommend, very different from the movie.|
|Aubrey-Maturin Series (Audiobooks)||Patrick O'Brian||Would recommend, Patrick Tull is a fantastic narrator.|
Expect a link to an archive of past books to appear here once this site has been up for over a year.
Quotes and other short pieces of text I like, presented in no particular order:
There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness.
— Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Every time I am shown to an old, dimly lit, and, I would add, impeccably clean toilet in a Nara or Kyoto temple, I am impressed with the singular virtues of Japanese architecture.
— Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows
We're doing this revolutionary war out of foppery and whim. Got that?
— Dusty Attenborough, Legend of the Galactic Heroes
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
— Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
The only past which endures lies wordlessly within you.
— Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune
No matter where you go, there you are.
— Buckaroo Banzai, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
Not fare well, / But fare forward, voyagers.
— T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
When someone is honestly 55% right, that's very good and there's no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it's wonderful, it's great luck, and let him thank God. But what's to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he's 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.
— Czesław Miłosz, The Captive Mind